Well I could solve my own problem with my new G4. It works, but not as well as it should. I have 9.04 and the multimedia update, I don't know if these are required for this to work or not, but I can get digital audio into the mac provided I don't try to play through the audio; this definitely isn't duplex. In fact Final Cut Pro crashes hard if I leave the "play audio through in duplex mode" option checked. Other applications seem to respect the options set by the Sound Control Panel, which will also let you check a play through option but then sound won't work at all if you do.
So, in other words there is no way to listen through the computer when capturing digital audio this way, you have to just watch the level meters and listen to audio through your source device somehow.